Friday, August 16, 2013

Don't Fear the Deposition.

Don't Fear The Deposition

By Brian Weekley,
Firm Partner
Snow, Carpio & Weekley, PLC

All Notices issued in your Workers' Compensation claim must be protested within 90 days of the day mailed. You must file a written request for hearing with the Industrial Commission of Arizona ( ICA) in order to preserve your rights.

The ICA will set a hearing date based on your request for hearing. Once the hearing date is set, both the injured worker and the carrier or third party administrator need to prepare for hearing. The carrier sends its' file to their chosen defense attorney. It is highly recommended that the injured worker also seek legal counsel at this juncture of the case.

In preparation for hearing, the defense attorney will want to depose the injured worker. I have found in my two decades of practice before the ICA that injured workers tend to somewhat irrationally fear depositions. They tend to be concerned that the defense attorney will be abrasive, abusive, rude, and will engage in trickery and word games in order to manipulate the injured workers' testimony.

In general, these fears are unwarranted. Defense attorneys tend to be specialists in the workers' compensation community, with many years of experience.  As a result, the depositions tend to be short ( less than one hour), concise and simple. The defense attorney is seeking information upon which they can defend their client's case.

The best thing that the injured worker can do is to be completely honest and to provide clear responses to the attorney's questions. The phrase that ' The truth will set you free" applies. Also, the injured worker should never guess at an answer. Nor should he offer long, rambling explanations to questions. Simple answers are the best.

So... don't fear the depo. tell the truth and keep it short. Best of luck.

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